Xbox Game Pass Is Now in Beta on PC, but Probably Not for You

Earlier today, in an E3 2019 press conference largely defined by a brief cameo appearance of Keanu Reeves, Microsoft announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate — its monthly subscription service which gives you full access to an extensive library of games — will be getting a beta on PC. And that you can access that beta starting today on PC.

Unfortunately, as some users are beginning to realize, the Xbox Game Pass beta is only available to those running the latest version of Windows 10, namely the May 2019 Update. Worse yet, when you go to update the operating system using the built-in Windows Update tool, there’s a high chance it won’t download.

That’s because Microsoft tends to stagger Windows 10 releases in order to prevent the spread of widespread glitches, in the likely event its QA testers didn’t catch every minor flaw in the code. Though it’s not clear why the company requires an update most people still don’t have, there is a way around it.

How to force install the Windows 10 May Update

On its website, Microsoft offers an Upgrade Tool that lets you manually install the latest version of Windows 10, that is, version 1903. You can download it for yourself here. Once you do, double-click the downloaded file to initiate an install. From there, click Update Now and Next.

So long as your system meets the requirements, you can sit back, relax, and watch the numbers go up, albeit in a snail-like fashion. It is Windows, after all. With the May 2019 rendition of Windows 10 installed, restart your system and maybe even sign up for Game Pass Ultimate on your phone while you wait.

Finally, you should be able to install the Xbox Game Pass PC beta right here. As of this writing, there are 103 games available on the service including Metro Exodus, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Halo Reach is promised for when it releases.

Seeing as it costs just $5 per month during the beta period, I’d say Xbox Game Pass for PC is well worth at least dipping yours toes and seeing if you like it. You could probably knock out all three aforementioned games over a long weekend. That’s basically three games for $5.

Don’t think about it too much.

Shoutout to Wayne Strickland for bringing this issue to my attention.